Candlestand with elongated baluster shaped pedestal. Three ogee shaped legs terminating in shaped snake feet. Made with a tilting top like larger tea tables, allowing the table to be placed in a corner or against the wall. Like most British examples, this one is made without a pillared turning block or “birdcage” under the top. Its use of mahogany points to the Chowan River Basin as a point of origin, and its baluster shape relates closely to several Edenton area tea tables and stands.
The account book of the Edenton carpenter and cabinetmaker William Luten records an entry for Richard Hoskins dated 3 May 1776 “…to a Candel Stan to Set Candle Stick on 0:02:08.” While the MESDA example is very likely more elegant that the one Luten made for Mr. Hoskins, Luten’s precise record of the intended use of his stand provides a rare and amusing insight. The use of the usual spring-loaded brass catch to lock the top down answers the description of “snap table” found on several eastern Carolina inventories.
The candle stand descended in the familiy of Reverend Christopher Thomas Bailey (1835-1895). Bailey was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, and in 1865, married Annie Sarah Bailey of Greensville County, Virginia. After completing his studies at William and Mary and Richmond College, he became a Baptist minister and worked with congregations in Surry and Sussex Counties in Virginia, and later in Edenton, Warrenton, and Gates and Hertford Counties in North Carolina. Bailey probably acquired the stand during his work in the Edenton area. In 1876, he settled in Raleigh where he published a Baptist weekly newspaper, The Biblical Recorder. The stand descended to his son, Josiah William Bailey (1873-1946), who served as a United States Senator from North Carolina from 1930 to 1946.